….is what I asked myself as I sat down in Norris Cinema Theater on the first day of the semester. This spring marked my first official term as a student in the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) and I couldn’t have been less thrilled. I was excited about joining the school, but the classes I signed up for left me wondering what all the months of applying were for. In short, I had gone from chemistry class where I was meticulously recording data and memorizing equations to watching movies in every class period. The worst part about History of the International Cinema (HIC) is that I couldn’t even watch with my eyes closed, which is what I normally did, because I wouldn’t know what was going on. Watching these foreign films in their “true” form meant no dubbing. Ever. The first film we watched was Bicycle Thieves by Vittorio De Sica. The film is hot stuff, according to film historians. My nap agrees. International cinema is good. I have no ill feelings towards it. In fact, one of my favorite movies is the French thriller Ne le dis à personne or Tell No One from 2006. However, when a film is in a foreign language and from the 1940s, my eyes are going to begin to question everything. Luckily the years for the class I’m in span from ~1946-73. What I’m going to do when I take the class from the 20s-40s I HAVE NO IDEA. Probably cry and call home every single day.
What I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to say some films are boring or not your cup of tea. Some films that are wildly famous are going to bore you out of your wild mind. That’s okay too. Like trying on a new dress, film is supposed to be criticized. That’s the fun. Though sometimes you’ll see a black and white Czech film from 1965 and wonder how you’ve gone through life without it. Check out Loves of a Blonde. The awesome director that made Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest? His name is Milos Forman. He has two Oscars and a lot of brilliants inside his brain. Loves of a Blonde is his second film. I could not recommend it more.
Without further ado, here is the screening list for History of the International Cinema II…as always, feel free to watch along with me! These are all the films that make a pretentious film major pretentious!!!! Join in on the fun!!!!
January 11 – Neorealism Screening: Bicycle Thieves (DeSica, Italy, 1948),
January 25 – New Realism/New Nation Screening: Pather Panchali (Ray, India, 1955)
February 1 – Art Cinema Screening: Rashomon (Kurosawa, Japan, 1950)
February 8 – The New Wave Screening: The 400 Blows (Truffaut, France, 1959)
February 22 – Breaking Waves Screening: Breathless (Godard, France, 1960)
February 29 – Pop Waves: Youth and Style Politics Screening: A Hard Day’s Night (Richard Lester, UK, 1964)
March 7 – Last Waves: ‘60s Politicized Cinema Screening: Loves of a Blonde (Forman, Czechoslovakia, 1965)
March 21 – Commercial Art Cinema? Screening: Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, UK/US/Italy, 1973)
March 28 – Classical Art Cinema? Screening: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (Schlondorff and von Trotta, Germany, 1977)
April 4 – Pop Art Cinema: What is Postmodernism? Screening: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Almodovar, Spain, 1988)
April 11 – New Narratives–Old Country Research Screening: Y Tu Mama Tambien (Cuaron, Mexico, 2001)
April 18 – Blockbuster Art Cinema? Screening: The Host (Bong, Korea, 2006)
April 25 – Planet Hong Kong Screening: The Grandmaster (Wong Kar-Wai, Hong Kong, 2013)
Featured image: Loves of a Blonde (1965)